When the 20th Century dawned, the average life span of a woman was about 50 years. At the dawn of the 21st century, our average lifespan is about 84 years. There are more people alive over the age of 50 today than there have been at most other times in our natural history. In fact, I know lots of women, my mother included – who at the age of 60, is more physically active than women half her age.
Modern medicine contributes a great deal to our longevity. Fewer women die in childbirth and complications during and after. Fewer women are affected by poor nutrition and overall we enjoy a variety of activities both in our leisure time and our common every day activities. Despite how easy life has gotten with our technological conveniences, we actually enjoy a time of unprecedented opportunity – doesn’t it behoove us as women to take advantage of this?
Physical and Mental Activity are both Key
Our kids will not appreciate what we went through anymore than we understood our parents. Our kids have motorized vehicles. Our kids have satellite phones, televisions and computer connections available in their classrooms. Our kids don’t have to ride their bike a mile or two to get to the arcade to play video games.
In fact, just as we don’t appreciate how it is to go through an evening’s entertainment without watching television, a movie or listening to downloaded music on our MP3 players – our kids will not get that walking can be done – just for the sheer joy of walking whether it’s on a sidewalk or a treadmill. The point is – we need to keep our kids engaged and we need to be engaged ourselves.
My daughter teaches me more and more every day and my mother does the same. My mother is a very active woman and at the age of 60, she is exploring her opportunities for learning new things and developing new skills more than I ever think about. By that same token, my daughter challenges me to keep up with her and it’s for her that my fitness is more important to me today than it was ten years ago.
We need good physical exercise. We need good mental exercise. We need to make use of the positive opportunities and longevity of our lives. How can you make more of your opportunities?